Don't Drive Without This Simple Thing in Your Car

There's a common joke among handymen that says they only need two important things in their toolbox: a duct tape to stick things, and a WD-40 to unstick things.

We couldn't agree more--particularly the first one.

If there's one thing we love (aside from driving manual cars and watching Yoda train Luke Skywalker), it would be a huge roll of duct tape sitting quietly beside us.

Extremely versatile and useful, this humble adhesive has helped win countless car races and tournaments, repaired the skin of an airplane, manufactured an entire handbag and wallet collection, repaired a drum set during a concert, used in first aid, worn as prom dresses, and even sold as an art form.

Duct tape actually played an important part in saving the lives of NASA astronauts during the Apollo 13 mission. Here's the actual "duct tape hack" they made to adapt the Command Module's square carbon dioxide scrubber cartridges to the round cartridge of the Lunar Module:

Duct tape hack made by Apollo 13 astronauts

History of Duct Tape

The very first duct tape were actually long strips of plain cotton duck cloth. It was used to wrap steel cables or electrical conductors to protect them from wear and tear.

The idea to place adhesive on them came from Vesta Stoudt, a mother of two Navy sailors. Worried that unsealed ammunition box seals would cause moisture problems for soldiers during battle, she proposed to President Roosevelt her idea of sealing these boxes with “fabric tapes.” This letter was passed to Johnson & Johnson's division,  Permacel, which became in charge of its production.

The color they used at that time was matte olive, like the colors used in the army. Soon, it became an essential "go-to repair" for military vehicles and weapons, and was nicknamed "duck tape" by the soldiers.

After the war, duct tapes were mostly used in construction to wrap air ducts. Now with a silvery-gray color, their name was changed to "duct tape.”

How duct tape can be used in your car

A good duct tape really shines during car emergencies that need quick repairs, especially when you don’t have a lot of materials to begin with. Here are some ways to use it:

  1. Cover dents temporarily
  2. Fix tail and headlights
  3. Tape a flashlight on the car's front hood if the headlights go out
  4. Patch holes in broken hoses or tubes
  5. Reattach mirrors or even antennas
  6. Use as a long piece of rope to tow a car
  7. Hold car windows or hoods shut (use the clear ones)
  8. Tape ripped upholstery and carpet
  9. Act as a drink holder
  10. Act as lint / animal hair remover
  11. Hold your muffler, bumper, or any car part together until it can be repaired
  12. Cover up rust
  13. Hold things on your car's roof
  14. Fix a flat tire temporarily
  15. Act as a door (in case your car loses a door or any other body part)
  16. Take tires out of the mud by piecing together materials to create a platform you can use for tire traction

You can find more inspiration on how to use duct tape on your car here.

A Quick Tip

How do you choose an excellent duct tape? Generally,  the quality goes higher the tighter its weave, the more adhesion it has, and the thicker it is. By far, the best one we’ve come across is the Gorilla brand, followed by Duck tape and Scotch Pro Strength Duct Tape.

 

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